Fr. Eugene Fanelli – Archdiocese of Newark

by | Dec 15, 2023 | Abuser Profiles

Father Eugene Fanelli

Archdiocese of Newark

Eugene Fanelli Horowitz Law



Died: 2000

Assignment History

  • 1941 – 1943: Unknown
  • 1944: Church of Our Lady Mount Carmel (Jersey City, NJ)
  • 1945: Chaplin U.S. Army (Newark, NJ)
  • 1946 – 1953: Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Jersey City, NJ)
  • 1954 – 1990: Our Lady of Libera, formerly Madonna Della Libera  (West New York, NJ)
  • 1991: Unknown
  • 1992 – 1994: Church of Our Lady Mount Carmel (Jersey City, NJ)
  • 1995: Holy Trinity Parish (Newark, NJ)
  • 1996: Madonna Parish (Newark, NJ)
  • 1997 – 1998: Our Lady Mount Carmel (Jersey City, NJ)
  • 1999: On Duty Outside the Archdiocese of Newark

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Eugene Fanelli

Father Eugene Fanelli was ordained to the priesthood in 1940. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career and after retirement in the Archdiocese of Newark. Fanelli was elevated to monsignor in 1989 and retired in 1993. He stayed active in retirement at parishes in Mount Carmel, Jersey City, Fort Lee, Newark, and West Long Branch, where he directed musical theater at parishes.

According to media reports, between 2019 and 2021, at least four people have named Msgr. Eugene Fanelli in several lawsuits claiming Fanelli abused them when he was pastor at Our Lady of Libera Roman Catholic Church in West New York when they were children between 1975 and 1977. Reports say that one man first told his mother in 2018, who then revealed that his father, who had died by suicide, had also been sexually abused as a child by Fanelli.

One of Finelli’s victims who filed suit alleged that he was abused by Finelli when he was in the second grade in the changing room for altar boys. “It was supposed to be a day of celebration,” the victim said. The abuse allegedly continued for several years.

In early November, this victim, along with a number of other clergy abuse victims and advocates, rallied in West New York and urged officials in Hudson County town to remove a street sign put up in 1991 to honor the longtime priest of the Newark Archdiocese. The sign is situated behind Our Lady of Libera parish and grammar school in West New York. The decision is pending. The Archdiocese of Newark has not updated its list of credibly accused clergy since its initial list was released in 2019.

Fanelli died in May 2000 at age 84. His obituary notes that in honor of his 40th anniversary as a priest in 1980, he celebrated a private Mass in Rome with Pope John Paul II. By that point, he had allegedly abused at least four children.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused in the Archdiocese of Newark, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply, so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help. Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.